Despite the recent politicalization regarding the notion of American Exceptionalism, I continue to believe that ours is a nation of promise. We are more than a superpower; we are the superpower. And yet, despite our dominance, capability and resources, we seem to be melting under the hot lights of the global stage. It’s why 1,721 (and counting) people are dead in Haiti due to a Cholera epidemic we had the power to prevent and the ability to eradicate.
How can it be that just 600 miles off the coast of Florida, Cholera is expected to eventually infect over 400,000 people? This despite the fact that we have cheap access to three different vaccines, understand disease prevention and knew it was coming!
Leadership is more than sending shiny new bulldozers to clear debris, hoisting the National Guard to keep the peace and cutting checks for foreign aid. It means getting out ahead of epidemics. Where are the U.S.-led water infrastructure assessment teams? Where was the call to develop a national stockpile of Cholera vaccine? Where are the prepositioned chlorine distributions needed to disinfect the Haitian water supply?
Over the next few weeks I’ll be blogging more on the situation in Haiti as a means to highlighting the areas of leadership, policy and action that we can (and should) be taking to improve our own homeland security-related efforts.